February 21, 2017
The Mighty Lochsa is over 9 feet this morning, cold and fast and raging, the spring thaw is coming off the mountains. Biggest water in several years, and sure isn’t over yet. I can sit on my front porch, and with my trusty telescope I can see the gauge on the bridge that spans the river and goes up the Selway. The age-old gauge doesn’t lie, and those rivers are high.May 30, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
From the hill above Lowell, I write this as a recently retired resort owner. I slept with a smile on my face last night and uninterrupted with no middle of the night cabins to rent. This morning I drank my coffee without one phone call coming in. I did a load of wash with only some socks and jeans of my own: not one single sheet, not one single towel, not even a stack of cleaning rags! I am on easy street right here in Lowell.May 23, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Sun and rain, short and sweet. And the news is the same. May 5, Cinco de Mayo, there’s a big raft trip next Saturday to celebrate Ray Kimble’s birthday on the river. The mighty Lochsa came up to six feet last Saturday; 18 brave guides got out there for a 22-mile run. They loved it!May 2, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
The sun is out, and I will soon be out in it. But first some news flashes. A local wedding at Three Devils Campground last Saturday. Stan Denham and Neile Grimm tied the knot along the river, then had a reception dinner at Wilderness Inn. Friends and family stayed in the cabins here in Lowell and the big, log handmade kingsize beds were made by none other than Stan himself.April 25, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Just out of hibernation, the residents of Lowell are in for a dynamic spring. Two houses, one being built, one behind Three Rivers Resort, and one up on the Selway River. Both construction companies start this week for about 90 days; I guess that’s how long it takes.April 18, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Let the Whitewater season begin! The Lochsa came up to 2-1/2 feet on the gauge at Lowell; there were boaters on the water all weekend, from Denver, from Missoula, and from right here in Lowell.April 11, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Colored eggs are easier to find in the snow, so it’s a good thing? Right? Well, at least the snow started the day after the Easter Bunny came. The Mike Smith family all had a nice Easter dinner at Three Rivers Resort, all 11 of us and we didn’t talk politics or religion!April 4, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Last week I had a brain freeze, the Ides of March set in and I didn’t beware, a big boulder on Highway 12 at milepost 116, a cougar sighting at Two Shadows, and early morning rapid fire coming from across the river – bapbapbapbap — a series of three times, very loud! Turkey hunters, I don’t know. Sounded really close.March 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
We have sprung ahead and have an hour more sunshine for the Clearwater Valley High School track season. Mike Smith, Jr., of Lowell, is the head coach for the 2018 season with Lara Smith as assistant coach. They have a good turnout of students, as well as some much needed sunshine. First meet coming soon.March 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
We’ve had snow — it’s 18” on the ground. The Fish and Game came and went putting in fish traps at Weir Creek, but that’s it on news, so I’m going to write a news story that happened many years ago.February 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
No writing about weather, just look out the window. No writing about hunting, nothing getting hunted. No writing about parties or meetings, that was zero at last count. Highway 12 is quiet, no Lifeflight this week in Lowell, not even a request for help with a flat tire out in front of my office, which usually happens once a week.February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
It rained for Groundhog Day, it rained for the Super Bowl (best one ever), it rained so hard the Mighty Lochsa River came up to 10,000 CFS and the remote Selway River is at 15,000 CFS. It rained on the steelhead fishermen, it rained on the cougar hunters, it rained on the college students going to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. Lolo pass got 15 inches of new snow.February 7, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
Life Flight landed twice at the confluence this past week, coming in from Missoula low and fast. Once for a truck driver and once for a slip and fall, but that’s all the details I heard. Rented three cabins on the river last Saturday and Sunday. All of the guests were heading up the Lochsa to enjoy Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, so it must be accessible.January 24, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
There’s not a lot of news to report up on the Lochsa in January. The beaver family at the confluence had two babies. What are baby beavers called? Pups maybe? The nights have been freezing and we have about two feet of hard-packed snow. The river didn’t freeze over yet this year. The state highway snowplows are on duty and get ahead of the ice on the roads each morning before the school bus.January 10, 2018 6 a.m. read more..
No fake news, everything is white, don’t need to dream about it, don’t need to wish for it, it’s everywhere: Lewiston, Kooskia, Lowell, Syringa, and Powell too! Up the Lochsa, up the Selway, and down along the Clearwater. Some locals just get out their boats and go fishing. A couple of guides for Three Rivers Rafting had a great day fishing on the Selway last week.December 20, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
If you want to have a magical holiday season, here’s a “to do” list: First clean, then decorate your whole house, including a big live tree! Outside lights and decorations are also important; some lighted reindeer would be special. Shop ‘til you drop, include everybody, don’t forget the trash man and the bus driver. Make some homemade gifts in your shop or kitchen. Wrap like a pro, red, green, gold and silver! Did you remember to hang the stockings and the Christmas Village? Don’t forget the cat!December 13, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Did you know they have an advertisement this year for “hands free TV”? You can sit in your recliner, just say “Dr Phil”, and the TV will go on, and find Dr. Phil, and there you go! You don’t have to go to the trouble of picking up your remote and pressing a button, let alone actually stand up and press a button on the actual TV, nope those days are over. Life is getting easier, sure glad I’m still alive to see this wonderful invention.December 6, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Cyber Monday, Black Friday, fast life in the shopping lane goes by and we aren’t on it. On Friday I was too full to move, and I wasn’t about to leave the leftover pies unguarded. On Saturday it was football, football, football. Sunday it was cleanup and say goodbye to company, and Cyber Monday the Internet crashed. This country living isn’t always compatible with the modern living that goes on all around us.November 29, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Cold has come to Lowell and Syringa, there’s frost on the pumpkins and you don’t have to hang your deer in the cooler, it’s just fine outside hanging from a tree. So is your elk. You can set your milk out on the back porch, but watch out for raccoons, and be sure your bathroom windows are shut before you go to bed!November 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
At Syringa, Lorraine Smith is canning quince jelly and marmalade, Becky Jackson is cleaning up after coming home from hunting camp, which is harder than the actual hunting, and River Dance Lodge and Syringa Cafe are going into winter mode until early spring. In Lowell, the Ryan’s at Wilderness Inn have cut back hours to breakfast and lunch, just for a few more weeks, then they open one more night for the Lowell QRU Christmas party. Three Rivers Cabins are busy with the hunters for this late whitetail season.November 15, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Life in Lowell and Syringa in the fall of each year is good. The TV system is working for football, news, movies, and Dr. Phil. Internet is speedy for staying in touch with friends and family, holiday plans, hunting news, and Google. Even the telephone and electricity works on a regular basis. We can shop online, and get a speedy delivery. We can eat the healthy stuff out of our gardens, we can enjoy venison left over from last year making room in our freezers for this year’s meat. We scrounge to get our firewood stacked high and keep dry.November 1, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The first Halloween we spent in Lowell, 1976, the Smith brothers were all dressed and ready for trick or treating, one Superman and one pirate. It was 20 degrees that spooky night, pitch black at 5 p.m. I was a scary witch! We set out on foot up the Selway with orange bags to fill with candy and treats. Michael just turned 8, Marty was 6.October 25, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
We have some nice big bucks hanging from the cabin decks, so the hunters are having good luck early in the season. Our electricity was out for 12 hours during this last weekend. I hate it when that happens; telephones out, too!October 18, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
There’s a nip in the air and the leaves are changing. The children in Lowell are picking out their Halloween costumes to be ready for the big day. KREM 2 and Tom’s Tailgate came to Clearwater Valley High School football game in Kooskia. Tom’s such a nice guy and it was a great experience for all the students and players. Speaking of football, Mike Smith Sr., Marty, Dani, and Max Smith all attended a Vandal game last week in Moscow. They had great seats and a great time, too!October 11, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Fishermen are reporting good luck even with all the rain, they are pretty closed mouthed about where they went or what fly the big ones were striking.October 4, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Fenn Ranger Station is getting a new roof, the IDF&G is putting a fish trap in at Pete King Creek, the USFS finishing up Lowell protection cut, and Terry Jackson has an REO Speed Wagon to add to his collection of trucks at Syringa. There’s no moss growing under our feet upriver! Pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg, scarecrows, yellow leaves, massive amounts of overgrown zucchini, and apples ready to pick. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!September 27, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The threat of fire is over for hopefully this year for Lowell; it’s three miles out and burning very slowly. News from the Coolwater Complex about the Andy’s Hump fire is that cooler weather has stopped that burn from causing concern for structures here at the confluence. They continue to watch and finish the planned protection. Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert has approved a plan designed to improve forest health and reduce fuels. The Lowell WUI project (we pronounce woo-ee) will treat 166 acres on the district.September 20, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Helicopters are hovering overhead helping to control the Andy’s Hump Fire about three-one-half miles from the community of Lowell. Fire are crews everywhere and even an Idaho Sheriff Deputy on guard at the base of Coolwater Road to be sure only authorized vehicles admitted. At this time, the crews are clearing fire lines, cutting firebreaks and setting up sprinkler systems around structures, it is a major job without local areas so densely forested.September 13, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Lots of nice folks came into town to make for a busy week. There’s a fire up Coolwater Road at the lookout, caused by lightning last Tuesday, not too big, they are letting it burn, but very hot! Is there any other kind? Smoke was very thick for the Labor Day weekend and folks were feeling its effects. Can’t go East because it’s worse in Montana, can’t go north, Canada is on fire (hot kind), and can’t go West, Washington had its own problems! So, we go south?? Not sure! Big wedding at River Dance Lodge in Syringa last Saturday, Donn Gibbs and Kelly Brooks had a birthday celebration in Lowell, Marty and Dani Smith had a party for their son, Max, who turned 4, and the bikers from Montana had a hullabaloo up the Selway, add on Barbecue Days in Kamiah, and CV varsity football in the Kibbie Dome, you have yourself one busy newsworthy week.September 6, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
List for town before Labor Day weekend: •Toilet Paper •Bug Spray •Coffee Packets •Laundry Soap •WindexAugust 30, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
By the time this paper is printed the eclipse will be over, but I’ll know how to spell “eclipse” without having to use spell check! Many Lowell friends and families got together and met on top of Coolwater Mountain; Mike and Lara Smith and girls have friends visiting to be here for the eclipse. Kevin from NYC and Granger from Texas. Donn and Kelley from up on the Mountain, Richard and Sally, Frank and Faye, Becky, from Downtown Lowell. All met up on the mountain. Mike and Marie Smith watched it from the Selway Bridge! Once in a lifetime, how great is that! Ok it’s over, let’s go on with our lives!August 23, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Here’s the news, and it ain’t all good! Smokey, really smokey, dusty because we haven’t seen a drop of rain for two months, even the blackberries are dusty, ripe, but dusty, hot hot hot, like record breaking hot, and the green green grass of home is yellow.August 9, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Three guys, sitting around the campfire, one named Cash, one named Buck, and the third named Rich, does this reek of money: Cash, Buck, and Rich! Lowell is such a great little town! We are off the Lochsa and heading for the Upper Selway — five days going through the wilderness and coming out at Selway Falls, 20 miles above Lowell.July 26, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Family reunions upriver, cousins, brothers, sisters, mom, dad, gramma, and gramps, too. They bring their dogs, they float the river, they roast marshmallows and barbecue steaks and hot dogs. They fish, they hike, they go out on their ATVs and horses; they are having a good time in Idaho.July 19, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
We all felt the earthquake at 11:30 p.m., last week, July 5th. Not usually anything happening in Lowell and Syringa in the middle of the night, so when the earth shook, we all sat up in our beds and listened. Each story is different.July 12, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Two black helicopters flew upriver fast and low last weekend, about 25 feet above the Middlefork of the Clearwater and kept going east up the Lochsa. Loud, fast, and very low, scared us all for a few seconds. It happened so fast the photos I took were all blurry. I read that Secretary of Interior Zinke was in Montana last week, so maybe he was checking out Idaho as well.June 28, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
It’s like a circus around here, oh wait, we did have a circus around here! The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus members went rafting on the Lochsa with Marty and Dani Smith at Three Rivers Rafting. They also enjoyed the company of circus friends Mike and Lara Smith, of Lowell, and Jay and Kristin Stewart visiting the Smiths from Cape Cod.June 21, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Big wedding at Syringa last week. Lots of Kamiah Simmons and Beckmans all got together to celebrate the joining of Megan Beckman and Lucas Wooden, there at Jackson’s beautiful setting in Syringa. Becky Allen-Brotnov and Terry have worked to make it a paradise, just right for the perfect wedding. Or you can also land there during hunting season, before and after you go out and try to shoot something; either way it’s the best.June 14, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Regular news is a busy, sunny, perfect Memorial Day weekend. Rafters had perfect level water (5-1/2 feet) and sunshine all three days. There were campfires going on in front of every cabin in the Lochsa Riverbank, marshmallows for the kids, cold beer for the adults, and barbecues everywhere.May 31, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
River Dance Lodge is open for lunch and dinner every day. Wilderness Inn is open all day, too. Good food, good friends, how lucky are we! Two choices for delicious food upriver. Eat, drink, be merry, and float down the river.May 24, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Kyle Petty had a spectacular event along Highway 12 last Sunday, Mother’s Day. It was a glorious run of motorcycles and support vehicles heading east in the sunshine! The communities of Lowell and Syringa came out along the highway to watch. Some hooting and hollering ensued!May 17, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The Mighty Lochsa is raging, right at six feet this morning and all last weekend on the gauge crossing the base of the Lochsa River at the Selway River Road. It’s perfect for whitewater boaters, very fun rapids, everyone has a good time between four and six feet. Be ready, wear the proper gear, have some partners with you, try to stay in your boat!May 10, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
A tall man with a black three-piece suit, white shirt and black tie came walking down my driveway in the pouring down rain last Friday. He had a briefcase in one hand and an expensive black satchel in the other.May 3, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Alan and Mary Hamilton were up on the Lochsa last weekend with some friends from McCall, and the “Ladies on the Lochsa,” a group of kayakers from mostly Montana joined forces at Wilderness Gateway to get out on the river as well. Cloudy skies and rain all week. It’s just a way of life in Lowell! Too early to mow the lawn.April 26, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
My life in the Idaho wilderness Easter Sunday: Power out 23 1/2 hours, no phone, no Internet, no electric heaters, no coffee! The guy in Cabin No. 2 said his sleep apnea machine went out; the guy in No. 3 (Alan Hamilton from AIRE Boats) said he was fine, no problem, his dogs slept next to the propane heater; the couple in No. 4 from McCall said they were used to it; the bear hunters in No. 7 didn’t even realize power was out, left early, came in late to sleep and got two bears; the turkey hunters in No. 8 got a big turkey with an 11-inch beard which they cooked outside on the fire ring and didn’t miss electricity. Two gals in motel room came in and left without a drop of power and paid cash!April 19, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Helicopters flying low overhead, white trucks carrying telephone poles, panel trucks and lift trucks, all upriver on a sunny Sunday replacing downed poles on the Selway River Road near Swiftwater Bridge. We had an “event” last week and a burst of wind took out about 50 trees. Could have been worse if closer to local homes up there, but at least it’s fixable: ICL&P to the rescue once again.April 12, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The sun came out for about 10 minutes last weekend, but it was followed by a hail storm and wind from the north! Even the horn hunters went home early.April 5, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Pheasants on highway 12. A tire blew out on a semi-truck hauling a gooseneck trailer full of beautiful pheasants. The load tipped over at mile marker 111 on Highway 12 just above Lowell which is located at mile marker 97.March 29, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Spring has sprung, the kayakers, catarafters, and rafters are all over it. They picked this last weekend to converge on the Mighty Lochsa. The level has gone up and down between seven feet at the highest so far, back down to five and one-half feet on Monday morning. With the Internet, it’s possible to get up-to-the-minute river flow at any given minute! I usually just ask Marty Smith, my go to for River info, it’s easier.March 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The 10 worst things about a 45-hour power outage: 1. Your freezer is thawing fast, so it’s venison and homegrown stewed tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.March 15, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The only live thing that came down my driveway this week besides wild turkeys was the mailman, Ralph Jackson “Junior”, and his co-pilot, Steve Pankey. They delivered this week amid snow, ice, mud, and even with fallen tree branches along the drive. Rocks in the road, small slides of mud, and even a pair of geese or two, they complete their appointed rounds right on time. With newspapers, bills, ads, personal letters, and even Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstake winners!March 8, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
Not one word about weather. If you don’t hear from me next week, I’m buried in the snow under my satellite dish with a scraper in my cold frozen hands trying to get my Internet to come back on! “The Revenant” doesn’t have anything on me.March 1, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
The snow is melting. This week we’ve seen blue sky, and new grass on the field, a tulip blooming here and there, and even a few discarded beer cans have been exposed, (you didn’t think I was only going to report butterflies and rainbows did you!) The change is coming, as we get out and about up here along the river a lighter weight jacket is ok, our mud boots instead of our winter pac’s, and even wear just two layers of thermal shirts instead of three.February 22, 2017 6 a.m. read more..
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